These are a few of our favorite sweet things…Part 2

By  Sandra Hambley |   | Posted in " holiday, Lifestyle "


Happy holidays from our kitchen to yours! Who doesn’t love a delicious plate of fresh baked cookies or muffins from the oven? Whether you are baking for Santa, your family or friends, or for a seasonal cookie swap we bet you have some favorites.  We sure do!  Last year we shared a few of our favorite sweet recipes and this year we have a few more to add to the list.  Happy baking!

Janet’s Favorite

Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Muffins

From Southern Living

Prep: 25 min., Bake: 25 min.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (10-ounce) package Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips*
  • 1 cup Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Chips
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, cut up
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

*Cinnamon chips can be hard to find, Janet suggests purchasing them from a bakery.


Beat granulated sugar and ¾ cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add corn syrup, beating until blended. Add eggs, beating just until blended.

Combine 2 ¾ cups flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in cinnamon chips and chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into lightly greased muffin pans filling two-thirds full.

Combine remaining ½ cup flour and brown sugar. Cut in ¼ cup butter with a pastry blender until crumbly; stir in pecans. Sprinkle evenly over tops of batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove immediately from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Makes 32 muffins.

Katie’s Favorite

Cranberry Coins


  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth in a stand mixer. Mix in the flour and salt until just incorporated. Mix in the cranberries. Divide dough into quarters. Shape into 1-1/2" - 2" logs, and roll until smooth and rounded. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes to up to 1 day. (Can be wrapped again in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 month). Preheat oven to 325. Bake cookie slices for 20-22 mins until edges begin to brown. These are bright and cheerful, colorful cookies that look great packaged in plastic bags and tied up with ribbon!

Bonnie’s Favorite

Gingered Fruit Cake Cookies—Enhanced gingerly from a Food network Recipe


  • 1/2 pound dried figs/prunes
  • 1/4 pound raisins
  • 2 ounces candied cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 2-4 ounces crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry (Or ginger flavored brandy)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 ounces chopped pecans
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour


Snip off the hard stems of the figs with scissors or a small knife and coarsely chop the figs (prunes). In a medium bowl, combine the figs, raisins, cherries, ginger, honey, sherry (ginger brandy), lemon juice, pecans, and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight at room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cloves, superfine sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and mix until incorporated. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt just until combined. Don't overmix! Add the fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl.

Divide the dough in half and place each half on the long edge of a 12 by 18-inch piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll each half into a log, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4-inch thick, making an 18-inch-long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices 1/2-inch apart on ungreased sheet pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. 

Annamaria’s Favorite

Melomakarona Cookies 


  • 1 ½ cups light olive oil or 1 1⁄2 cups corn oil
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup beer (or more) or 1 cup orange juice (or more)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 oranges, zest of, grated
  • 1 cup  sugar
  • 2 cups fine ground semolina(cream of wheat or farina)
  • 6 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups greek thyme honey
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup walnuts, finely chopped


Put the corn oil, butter, beer (or orange juice), cinnamon, cloves, orange peel and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until they are thoroughly blended. Sift about one cup of flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt and blend into the oil mixture. Add the semolina, a cup at a time, into this mixture. Add enough of the remaining flour, a cup at a time, until you get a rather firm dough (you may need a bit more or less than the amount of flour mentioned in the ingredients list). Use your hands to do the mixing, as an electric mixer will be useless after the first two or three cups of flour have been added.

Roll the dough into cylinders, about two inches long and one inch in diameter, flatten them with your hands, and place them on cookie sheets that have been greased with a little olive oil.

Bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for half an hour. Remove the cookies from the oven and pour hot syrup over them.

For the syrup: mix the sugar, honey and water, and bring to a boil. Cook on low heat for four minutes and skim off the foam that forms on top.

Lay the cookies out in a rimmed baking pan large enough to contain them and pour the hot syrup over the cookies, sprinkle them with the chopped walnuts and let them soak overnight. (Alternatively, if you do not have enough rimmed baking sheets to accommodate all the cookies, you can dip them in batches directly into the hot syrup - keeping the syrup at the lowest possible simmer - and allow to soak in the syrup for 8-10 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon).

The next day put them on your prettiest platter, sprinkle each layer evenly with the finely chopped walnuts and wrap with plastic wrap (or put in an airtight container) and serve. These are great keepers and will last for months (my Mom's 'big' batches sometimes made it nearly up until Easter!).

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